This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Scandinavia guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.
Frost on My Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer by Tim Moore. In this contemporary account following 19th-century traveller Lord Dufferin, British writer Moore hauls himself across the North Atlantic, enduring chronic seasickness, cycling through Iceland’s interior, taking a Viking longboat to Norway via the Faroes and finally landing in Spitzbergen. A great read.
Pole to Pole by Michael Palin. The former Monty Python star and his BBC crew travel from the North to South Pole along the 30º line of longitude. The early part of the trip conveniently includes the far north of Norway, Finnish Lapland, Helsinki, Tallinn and St Petersburg. Palin’s casual journal-style narrative is typically funny and engaging.
To the Top of the World: Norway’s Coastal Voyage by PE Johnson. The author takes the stunning coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes, stopping in villages along the way. This is a must-read if you’re planning this awesome sea journey.
A Year in Lapland: Guest of the Reindeer Herders by Hugh Beach. This is a unique peek into the lives of the Sami reindeer herders, written by an anthropologist who spent a year living among the Sami in the Jokkmokk district of Swedish Lapland.
In Forkbeard’s Wake: Coasting Around Scandinavia by Ben Nimmo. With his sailing boat and a quest to retrace the steps of a Norse warrior, British writer Nimmo comes up with a quirky and funny collection of experiences that reveal a lot about Scandinavia and its people.
Just As Well I’m Leaving by Michael Booth. Not strictly about travel in Scandinavia, but this funny travelogue follows the 19th century travels of Denmark’s favourite writer, Hans Christian Anderson.
More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.